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 Boat accidents 
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Post Boat accidents
I've come across reports of so many of these in The Times that I thought I would start posting a few on the forum.

From the issue of October 3, 1793 regarding news from Portsmouth:

"..... a boat with two men in it was overset by a sudden squall at the mouth of the harbour. Sir Edward Pellew, who was standing on the beach, instantly jumped into a wherry, and, with the waterman, put off to their assistance, and the Captain's coxswain of the Aquilon stripped himself, and swam to their relief. We are happy to add, that their exertions were crowned with success, as the men were hauled, exhausted and expiring, into the wherry, and are now perfectly recovered ....."

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Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:54 am
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From The Times, March 27, 1800:

"......DEAL, March 25......the 1st and 2d battalions of the 17th Regiment of foot marched into this place from Dover Castle, and were on their arrival embarked on board his Majesty's ship Inflexible. During the embarkation of the 1st battalion an unlucky circumstance occurred....one of the boats, on being launched from the beach, shipped a quantity of water, and the troops pressing on the side on which she heeled, the boat filled, and immediately sunk.

The people from the shore instantly rushed into the sea, and providentially rescued their countrymen from destruction....only one solder was hurt, and he but slightly, by a blow on his back....."

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Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:02 pm
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From The Times of October 22, 1849, in news from Tuscany:

" .... a letter from Leghorn...states that a boat belonging to the British ship-of-the-line Bellerophon, ... was upset, on approaching the land. Notwithstanding the assistance offered by the boats in the harbour... midshipman and 10 of the men were drowned ....."

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Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:16 pm
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From The Times of August 21, 1817:

" ..... On Saturday night a galley belonging to his Majesty's schooner Pioneer, at Deal, being on the look out, and riding at her grapnel, it suddenly came on to blow a hurricane, and the galley being struck by a sea, it washed the whole of the crew overboard, when they all got hold of the side, and another sea striking her, she overset, and, melancholy to relate, a midshipman (who had joined only Saturday afternoon) and five seamen were drowned; the other saved himself by swimming on shore in St Margaret's- bay: four of the bodies have been taken up, but the midshipman and other seaman have not yet been found ......"




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Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:34 am
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.... not quite an "accident", but it certainly sounds like it could have been.

From The Times of October 31, 1803:

" ..... a boat from the Batavia, stationed at Margate, had a most extraordinary escape, a few nights since, in crossing the Margate sands. She had eight sailors, and a midshipman, of the name of Wallace, on board, when she struck on the sand, which was about ten o'clock at night. There was scarcely any water remaining on the sands. The midshipman ordered the men to spring out, which they did; and although at every step they sunk nearly to their knees in the sand, they succeeded in dragging the boat above a mile across before the tide returned. Had they not acted thus, the boat must have been lost, and every soul perished, as the weather was extremely boisterous. ....."




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Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:40 am
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Mil,

Once again, as we see from this report from the Times, the rather flowery and overblown language that was used by that paper. Why necessarily must the boat in this 'extraordinary escape' have been lost, 'and every soul' have perished, despite the 'boisterous' weather?

Surely it might have been just a case of waiting for the tide to come back in again, and the boat's floating off (wooden boats have a habit of doing that) since she didn't appear to be stuck. I can understand the midshipman ordering the men out of the boat, to enable her to float the more easily, but without knowing all the facts, I wonder why he then thought it necessary to wear his men out by forcing them to drag the boat 'above a mile'!

With reference to your earlier report about Sir Edward Pellew, this just shows what sort of 'hands on' man he was, which was brought out well in the Hornblower films, when he assists pulling in the in the ship's boats.

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From The Times of April 5th, 1827:

" ..... It is with deep regret we mention the melancholy fact of the drowning of two seamen of the Hecla discovery ship. She was lying in the moorings in Northfleet Hope, and the men were employed during the week in exercising on shore with their tents, and making other preparations for their expedition. On Monday two of them were in the act of heaving the kedge from one of her boats, in order to hang the ship in a particular position for trying experiments with the compasses, when they got entangled with the buoy-rope, and were thrown in the water. The bodies have not bet been found. Friday morning the Hecla left her moorings, and proceeded to Sheerness, where she arrived in the course of the day - Kentish Gazette ..."


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Sat May 17, 2008 10:54 am
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From The Times, October 28, 1790:

".... On Saturday a boat belonging to the Brunswick, of 74 guns, was overset in a sudden gust of wind, going from Portsmouth harbour to Spithead, and seven men and four women were unfortunately drowned. ....."




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Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:08 am
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The Times, August 14th, 1810:

" ... Saturday the boat belonging to the Latona frigate, with an officer, seven seamen, and one woman, on board upset, about a quarter mile from the beach, at Deal; however, they were all saved by the timely assistance of the boatmen from the south-end of that place. ....."


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Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:07 am
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Post Re: Boat accidents
The Times, November 30th, 1810.

" ........... Saturday, the 17th instant, as a boat belonging to the Alphea sloop of war, on the Dungeness station, was coming on shore with eight persons, it upset, in sight of several boatmen on the beach, who immediately launched Mr Mortley's revenue-boat, pushed off, and preserved five of the crew, but the three others were unfortunately drowned; one of whom was the surgeon, the two others, sailors, belonging to the sloop. Two of the bodies were picked up near Dungeness, and buried at Romney on Friday last. The surgeon's body was found on the shore near Brockman's barn, from whence it was conveyed to Dymchurch for interment. ....... "

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Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:43 am
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